Christmas parades and festival this weekend

The annual Christmas on the Water Children’s Parade rolls downtown tonight beginning at 6 p.m.

The parade, open to children in kindergarten through fourth grade, will begin at the Dr. Frank G. Gruich Sr. Community Center on Howard Avenue, travel west on Howard Avenue, turn south on Reynoir Street, east on Jackson street, south on Lameuse street, and end at the Biloxi Town Green, 710 Beach Blvd.

At 6:30 p.m., the Biloxi Town Green will light up with holiday decorations. Children will be able to meet Santa Claus and decorate the Christmas tree. Jack, the Biloxi Fire Dog will also be on site making his first public appearance. The newest member of the Biloxi Fire Department is still in training, so Biloxi Fire Chief Joe Boney asks that everyone approach him cautiously and ask before petting him.

Then on Saturday, the Rue Magnolia and Water Street Arts District will be filled with arts and craft vendors, performers and shoppers for Biloxi Main Street’s 15th annual Christmas in the City festival. The annual downtown festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The centerpiece of the weekend, the Christmas on the Water Boat Parade, will take place Saturday evening, beginning at 6. The parade of decorated boats will cruise along the Mississippi Sound from the Biloxi Lighthouse to Point Cadet.  After the parade, a fireworks show will light up the east Biloxi sky.

The commemorative Christmas on the Water shirts are now available for purchase for $25 at the Biloxi Visitors Center and the Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum.

Elsewhere this weekend: The Biloxi Parks & Recreation Department will hold registration for its youth basketball league at the Snyder Community Center, Nativity BVM holds its annual Breakfast with Santa at the Half Shell, and the Salvation Army will host its Santa breakfast and photos event at the Kroc Center. To get a complete list of the Christmas happenings in Biloxi, click here. To see the December Biloxi Community Calendar, click here.

Police offer holiday safety tips

The Christmas season officially kicked off in Biloxi this week and with more festivities planned, Biloxi Police are asking everyone to keep safety in mind while enjoying the season.

“Crime tends to rise as the criminals take advantage of all the hustle and bustle during the season,” Biloxi Police Major Christopher De Back says.  “And with the increased purchases going on this time of the year, certainly, there’s a lot more opportunity out there.”

Here are some tips to keep in mind.

  • Never leave valuables in plain sight in your car
  • Always lock your vehicle doors even if you are just running a quick errand
  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Don’t leave your purse, bags, cellphone or other personal property lying around
  • If out at night, park in a well-lit area
  • Make sure to lock up your home when away
  • Don’t post on social media that you are out of town
  • Have deliveries made when you are home or have someone you trust pick up the package from your front porch
  • When shopping online, make sure the website is credible and don’t give unnecessary information
  • If you are meeting someone to make a purchase, meet in a public spot such as the police department parking lot

“Enjoy your time with friends and family,” De Back says, “and remember these tips to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable holiday season. And, if you partake in any alcoholic beverages, don’t drive.”
Video: Safety tips for the holiday season

News & notes: City Desk, Lighthouse lighting, council

City Desk: This week’s edition of the City Desk podcast, recorded Wednesday morning at Biloxi City Hall, focuses on the Christmas events in Biloxi. To listen to the podcast, click here.

Biloxi Lighthouse: The City of Biloxi officially kicked off the Christmas season with the Lighting of the Biloxi Lighthouse Thursday night. To see photos from the event, click here.

City Council: The next scheduled meeting of the Biloxi City Council is set for Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. at Biloxi City Hall. To see the agenda and supporting documents, click here.